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Commands Reference, Volume 5

skulker Command


Cleans up file systems by removing unwanted files.




Attention: Because the skulker command is run by a root user, and its whole purpose is to remove files, it has the potential for unexpected results. Before installing a new skulker command, test any additions to its file removal criteria by running the additions manually using the xargs -p command. After you have verified that the new skulker command removes only the files you want removed, you can install it.

The skulker command is used for periodically purging obsolete or unneeded files from file systems. Candidate files include files in the /tmp directory, files older than a specified age, and the following file types: *.bak, a.out, core, proof, galley, ...*, ed.hup, and files that are more than one day old.

The skulker command is normally invoked daily, often as part of an accounting procedure run by the cron command during off-peak periods. Modify the skulker command to suit local needs following the patterns shown in the distributed version. Local users should be made aware of the criteria for automatic file removal.

The find command and the xargs command form a powerful combination for use in the skulker command. Most file selection criteria can be expressed conveniently with find expressions. The resulting file list can be segmented and inserted into rm commands using the xargs command to reduce the overhead that would result if each file were deleted with a separate command.

Related Information

The cron daemon, find command, rm command, xargs command.

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